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I've noticed that since the past year, the number of accounts created on Meta Stack Exchange every week has increased noticeably, and has sustained a much higher rate than it has sustained for the previous years.

Here's a query and a graph:

Graph in account creation, showing sudden increase in rate since September 2018

Historically, the rate of account creation has climbed at a steady but slow pace. The rate got shifted down in early 2014, probably due to the Meta Stack Overflow-Meta Stack Exchange split, and there's a small blip increase in early 2016 which was caused by a notification regarding updated Terms of Use that was deployed to all accounts then (a lot of people didn't realize they'd been directed to a different site, and went on to ask their off-topic questions here; this resulted in a temporary period where 2 reputation was required to ask questions here).

However, I can't firmly place anything on the sudden increase that seems to have taken place near the end of 2018, and the fact that it's stayed at that increased rate ever since.

What's responsible for the sudden and sustained increase in account creation here on Meta Stack Exchange? Is there some new external link to this site made after that time?

Or does it has to do with the fact that the login flows for stackexchange.com and Area 51 now go through Meta Stack Exchange? (I don't think it's that, since I don't imagine a lot of people login through those paths, and I don't believe that it creates a Meta Stack Exchange account, only providing a login flow.)

  • Looks like we need to require 2 reputation to ask a question again... – user474678 Sep 17 '19 at 11:20
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We started redirecting https://area51.stackexchange.com/users/signup, https://area51.stackexchange.com/users/login and https://stackexchange.com/users/login to https://meta.stackexchange.com/users/login

Now, not all of those will end up creating a user here; Area51 is pretty good about just logging you in and sending you back. But SE.com likes to just dump you here. So, a lot of folks end up getting lost and leaving a trail of MSE users behind them.

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    So the logs show that most/all of the extra sign-ups are coming from people signing in on stackexchange.com? – Sonic the Masked Werehog Sep 14 '19 at 3:38
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    And posting off topic question on their way out... – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Sep 14 '19 at 5:51
  • I think you made a mistake. It should be: "So, a lot of folks end up getting lost and leaving a trail of crap behind them." – user474678 Sep 17 '19 at 11:19
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    The problem, @JL2210, is that even a good question is worthless here if you meant to ask it on, say, Pets. I've traced the logs of a good few people posting these now, and... It ain't for lack of effort; there is a frickin' maze awaiting folks who click the wrong link at the wrong time. And that's not even getting into the hell-scape that is accidentally clicking "chat" somewhere... – Shog9 Sep 20 '19 at 20:31
  • All right, that's fair. Thanks for the clarification! – user474678 Sep 21 '19 at 3:13

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